Welcome to the Kavanaugh days of the Roberts Court, and expect the damage caused by his appointment to resonate for decades to come.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed President Trump’s broad restrictions on transgender people serving in the military to go into effect while the legal battle continues in lower courts.
The justices lifted nationwide injunctions that had kept the administration’s policy from being implemented.
It reversed an Obama-administration rule that would have opened the military to transgender men and women, and instead barred those who identify with a gender different from the one assigned at birth and who are seeking to transition.
The court’s five conservatives--Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh--allowed the restrictions to go into effect while the court decides to whether to consider the merits of the case.
The liberal justices--Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan--would have kept the injunctions in place.
Trump surprised even his own military advisers in July 2017 when he announced a sweeping ban on transgender people’s military service via Twitter. He cited what he viewed as the “tremendous medical costs and disruption.” The administration’s order reversed President Barack Obama’s policy of allowing transgender men and women to serve openly and receive funding for sex-reassignment surgery.
Attorneys for active-duty service members went to court to block the policy shift, which could subject current transgender service members to discharge and deny them certain medical care.
The court rulings were met with another policy revision from then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who issued a plan to bar those from the military who identify with a gender different from their birth gender and who are seeking to transition. Mattis’s plan makes exceptions, for instance, for about 900 transgender individuals who are already serving openly and for others who would serve in accordance with their birth gender.
While several lower courts have blocked the policy, the changes were persuasive to a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which became the first appeals court to review the policy.
“The government took substantial steps to cure the procedural deficiencies” previously identified by a lower court, the panel said in a short order. “Although the Mattis Plan continues to bar many transgender persons from joining or serving in the military, the record indicates that the plan allows some transgender persons” previously barred to join and serve.
The policy is not a “blanket ban,” the court concluded, because “not all transgender persons seek to transition to their preferred gender or have gender dysphoria.”
The rollback of LGBTQ rights under the Roberts Court and Trump Regime will continue along with the rollback of women's rights and civil rights., and even if Donald Trump resigned today, the carnage from another decade of the current bloc of Bush/Trump justices on SCOTUS will make America a very dangerous place for anyone who ins't a straight, white, Christian male.